As more is becoming known about Travis Reinking, the suspect wanted for murdering four people in a Nashville area Waffle House this morning, we’re hearing a familiar refrain. Reinking was well known to both federal and state authorities.
In July 2017, the U.S. Secret Service arrested Reinking for being in a “restricted area” near the White House, according to the Secret Service. After the arrest, his Illinois firearms authorization was revoked and local Illinois police seized four weapons.
The firearms were given back to his family.
“Among the weapons seized by those authorities was the AR-15 rifle used at the Waffle House today,” said Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron at a Sunday afternoon news conference.
Police believe Reinking’s father received the weapons after their confiscation, and returned them to his son. Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said he believes under Illinois law, guns seized can be returned to someone who has a valid state authorization.
Reinking is still on the loose and police believe he may be armed. According to an NPR report, the only reason the number of casualties this morning wasn’t higher was that Reinking’s rifle jammed.
A Waffle House patron who saw that the gunman was “apparently struggling or looking at” with his rifle, and took advantage of the moment by “rushing him,” wresting the gun away and throwing it behind the counter – prompting the gunman to leave.